It’s mid-August, which means it times to to make another batch of our secret weapon against the fall/winter cold and flu season: Fire Cider! This homeopathic tonic was developed by an herbalist in the 1970s and has grown in popularity ever since. It is a powerhouse for your immune system, and as a bonus, it’s easy to make!
The concept is simple: cut up chunks of foods known for antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiviral properties and steep them in apple cider vinegar until it creates a tincture that can be taken in shots. Fire Cider takes 4-6 weeks to properly set up, so this tonic requires a little planning.
Nowadays, there are many iterations of Fire Cider. Most build on the original base recipe of horseradish, garlic, cayenne, ginger, onion, and honey. Other common additions include turmeric, jalapeños, oranges, lemons, cinnamon, star anise, and chilies.
We won’t lie: this tastes POTENT! Most people don’t drink Fire Cider for the flavor; they drink it for the health benefits. Simply swallow 1 tablespoon every day when you want to boost your immune system or feel the sniffles coming on. Though, as a vinegar, this can be used as an addition to a vinaigrette, added to tea, or sprinkled over veggies.
TIP: Since this is technically a health food that will not be cooked, it’s important to use organic fruits and veggies. You want to insure you aren’t steeping chemicals into your Fire Cider.
Mainstay Fire Cider
1 piece of horseradish, skin-on, chopped into chunks
1 piece of fresh ginger, skin-on, chopped into chunks
1 orange, skin-on, chopped into chunks
1 lemon, skin-on, chopped into chunks
2 jalapeños, including seeds, chopped into chunks
1 head of garlic, cut in half horizontally
1 yellow onion, skin-on, chopped into chunks
1 TBSP dried turmeric
1/4 C raw organic honey
1 quart raw, unfiltered organic apple cider vinegar with The Mother (we prefer Braggs)
Fill a half gallon glass jar with chunks of horseradish, ginger, orange, lemon, jalapeños, garlic, and onion. Fill it to the brim, cramming in as much as you can. Pour in honey and turmeric. Fill the jar to the top with apple cider vinegar. Secure the lid to your jar and shake it well to combine everything.
Place your jar in a cool, dark place (we use our pantry). Every day for 4-6 weeks, shake the jar to mix all the ingredients together.
After 4-6 weeks, strain all the solids out and discard. Return your Fire Cider liquid to your jar and store in your fridge up to 18 months.
NOTE: Using a half-gallon jar to steep your ingredients results in approximately 1 quart of Fire Cider. This lasts us one year in our fridge. We make a new batch every fall, and it gets us through the rest of the year easily!